If you have a garden, paying someone to take care of it can improve the look and feel of your home. And, while gardeners are a luxury, they can often be a lot cheaper than you think.
In fact, many British households hire gardeners from April through the summer, just because it means they can have a beautiful garden worry-free.
But, how much will it cost you to have a gardener on-hand? Often, that depends on what you’re paying for.
For example, you can likely pay a flat-rate fee of £150-£200 per month for general garden care – especially if you hire the gardener out with a group of neighbours, so they’re in the area for the full day. On the other hand, specific and one-off tasks are harder to price.
Most gardeners charge an average of £30 per hour, but you can go as low as £12 or as high as £60.
The table below breaks down an estimate of a gardener’s price list in the UK. It’s based on the median garden size of 20 square metres.
|Gardening Jobs||Estimated Time (hours)||Estimated Cost|
|Fitting a Fence||4-8||£250-£300|
|Laying Wood Chips||2+||£40-£80|
|General plant maintenance||1||£25-£40|
|Water feature maintenance||1-3||£20+|
*Please keep in mind that these costs are based on quotes at the time of writing in May 2023. Actual costs are subject to change and may be different at the time of reading.
Gardening Costs By Job
Gardening costs vary significantly based on who is doing the work, what kind of work it is, accessibility, and the size of your garden. Often, you’ll get flat rate pricing. However, you may also have an hourly charge.
Turfing a garden is composed of two costs. The first is labour, which is usually only a few hours – provided your gardener has the right equipment. The other half of the cost is materials. So, turfing a garden will cost:
- 1-3 x hourly rate (typically £30)
- Turf (£3- £7 per m2)
- Delivery (if using turf rolls rather than seed)
- Potentially equipment rental
This means that you’ll likely spend anywhere from £90- £240 on labour costs plus an additional £5 per square metre of the garden. If you have a 20 m2 garden, that’s another £100 in materials. If you have a 178 m2 garden, that’s £890 in additional costs.
Of course, you’ll almost always be able to cost everything out at a flat rate, which could save you money as well.
Most trees should be pruned once a year, in the dormant period. This means taking shears or a chainsaw and cutting back trees to remove dead, broken and diseased branches, to shape growth and slow growth. That will change in labour depending on the number of trees and shrubs you have.
For example, if you have pine or other evergreen trees, you’ll likely want to spend time to have your gardener pinch back growth buds to slow growth and direct the tree where you want it. This will save on pruning next year.
This means you’ll want to have pruning done once per year for:
- Non-shaped hedges
- Rose Bushes
- Brambles (rose, blackberry, raspberry, etc.)
On the other hand, you’ll want to prune shaped or formal hedges about four or more times per year. The cost and time per shrub, bush, hedge, or tree will depend a lot on the tree. Calculate in an hour per big tree to be safe. But, you can probably prune a whole row of hedge in about 30 minutes.
Gardening beds may include planting, building, or taking care of those beds. Usually, it’s called “gardening bed” work when it’s about planting them. This means building up the beds, mulching them, and planting the initial plants. After that, follow-up care will fall under weeding, watering, and garden care.
Here, you can expect to pay landscaping rates for building a bed. This might involve deciding where to put the beds. If you want rock-walled beds, you’ll have to pay for those materials as well, which are typically about £60 per metre of bed wall. If you want raised beds, it will cost even more.
From there, your gardener will have to choose plants, purchase them, and plant them for you. They’ll also have to get mulch, dirt, and any fertiliser, and mix them into the beds before planting. And, you’ll want extra care for the new plants for the first 1-3 weeks after planting.
Mowing is the most common gardening service. However, it can take a lot of time depending on the size, accessibility, and layout of your garden. If you have a square patch of grass that’s 8×8 metres, you’ll probably have it mowed in about 20 minutes or less. On the other hand, if you want to mow around trees, beds, your house, or objects in the garden, it will take a lot more time.
Therefore, you’ll always save money on mowing by keeping your garden empty. If that’s not possible, keep in mind that mowing around objects and then trimming around them after can greatly add to your total bill.
For example, if your gardener has to use a trimmer to go over the edges around your home, patio furniture, and garden ornaments, that will likely take more time than mowing with a push mower.
If you’re growing beds or flowers, you’ll likely want to weed. That will take a different amount of time depending on how many weeds you have and how often the gardener comes by.
For example, if you have the gardener come by once per week, it might take them 20 minutes to weed your space. If you have them come over once per fortnight, that might jump to an hour, because the weeds have more time to grow and set in, and may be harder to remove.
Here, it’s always a good idea to combine weeding with other jobs, so you can afford to have them come over once per week. This means paying for weeding and mowing at the same time and paying for an hour of work is always a better call than “just” the weeding.
If your garden is overgrown, you want to replant it, or there’s debris and fallen branches, you’ll want to pay to have it cleared. That’s normally going to take about 4 hours. However, depending on the garden in question, you might get away with a simple hour or less.
Here, you’ll have to pay the average fee of about £30 per hour. In addition, you’ll have to pay for:
- Debris removal, e.g., if you want to cut out an old tree, you’ll have to rent a trailer and pay for it to be disposed of
- New landscaping, which may include design, which will typically cost £50+ per hour
- New plants, which can cost a few pounds to hundreds per square metre, depending on what you choose.
In addition, if you’re clearing old decking, pools, or similar groundcover, actually clearing the garden can be a big deal. Therefore, you’ll want to budget for mulching and fertilising and putting in new plants when you’re done.
Hedges have to be trimmed regularly to keep their shape. Therefore, you’ll want to pay your gardener to do so.
Trimming hedges is sometimes called pruning them. However, depending on the hedge, you’ll typically want one true prune per year. In addition, you’ll want one to three maintenance trims. Each of these will take about an hour for a standard garden hedge.
In addition, it’s important that you don’t trim during the bird nesting season, or March to August. This means you’ll not be paying for hedge trimming during the high season for your gardener.
However, if you do pay your gardener to come over, you’ll normally want to have them trim everything all at once. That means paying for 2-4 hours of their time – and then having them trim the hedge again in spring.
Gardeners often offer outdoor cleaning services including power washing and washing patios and driveways.
Under normal conditions, that should take about 20 minutes. This means that if you pay for just that job, you’ll pay for an hour of work, or about £30 – unless your gardener has a minimum fee.
On the other hand, if you combine it with other work, you’ll still pay about £30 or the gardener’s minimum fee for a visit.
Planting shrubs and trees is labour intensive work which can take up to an hour per plant – depending on the ground, the tools the gardener has, and the size of the plant.
Here, you’ll want to consult with your gardener to decide how much you’re spending. However, on average, for hedge and other small shrubs, with a posthole digger, you can plant about a metre per hour.
Stump removal is expensive and labour intensive. Here, you can expect to pay about £60 or 2 hours of work for grinding the stump down. However, if you want it fully removed, you’ll pay £100 or more.
Additionally, if it’s a large stump, costs could go to over £500, as your gardener may have to bring in excavation equipment to get the stump out.
If you want a better quote, consult with your gardener directly.
Fitting a Fence
Many gardeners will fit fencing and gates, which means you can have them work the fencing into your plant boxes and plant design. However, this service isn’t cheap and will usually cost about an hour of work per metre of fencing, plus the cost of the fencing itself.
That normally works out to about £80-£120 per metre of fencing. This includes digging holes, setting fence posts, and installing the fencing directly.
Gravel, paving stone, or wood chip edging can save you time and money on mowing the garden, but it takes time to install. Often, you can plan costs to be about half an hour per metre for wood chip and gravel edging and about an hour per metre for paving stones. However, actual rates will vary.
In addition, you’ll have to buy the materials. Here, paving stones and mortar will cost about £40 per metre. You’ll pay £7- £10 per metre for wood chips or gravel.
If you’re not sure which option to use, consult with your gardener based on the look, what’s good for local wildlife, etc.
Woodchips are often used for preventing weeds, for future mulching, and to reduce weeding. However, you’ll pay about £7 or more per square metre of space you lay wood chips in.
In addition, your gardener will probably take about 10 minutes per square metre of space to prepare the space and lay the chips.
Mulching and fertilising costs the time of breaking up the ground and the cost of the fertiliser. In some cases, this will be a simple case of spraying fertiliser – or about 20 minutes for a standard garden. In other cases, you may have to break up the whole garden to mix mulch into beds and growing areas.
Usually fertiliser costs are minimal at about £0.30 per square metre.
On the other hand, mulch can be quite expensive. The standard brown mulch costs £2-£4 per m2. If you want something higher-end, like pine bark or woodland, expect to pay £30-£150 per m2.
For the standard garden, you won’t need that, but you may want it for specialty plants.
Leaf blowing and raking typically takes about 20-60 minutes for the garden. If you’re having it done, paying to have it done throughout the fall will prevent leaves from piling up, reducing the total amount of time you spend.
So, plan to pay your gardener for 20 minutes of their time every week through the full of September, essentially swapping mowing out for leaf blowing.
Watering plants is usually a fast job, but plan in about 20 minutes of your gardener’s time.
In this case, you should have them doing other work, otherwise, you will overpay for the work.
General Plant Maintenance
If you have a garden with flower or vegetable beds, plan to have your gardener come in to do maintenance at least once per fortnight and budget in about 20 minutes of time.
Water Feature Maintenance
Water feature maintenance can run from extensive repairs to pools and fountains to simple regular cleaning and maintenance of water PH levels.
If you pay for regular maintenance, the job won’t take long. However, at the start of spring, expect to pay for 2+ hours of labour, plus chemicals (usually about £20).
Typical Gardening Day Rates UK
In most cases, you can expect it to cost £150-£200 for a full day of gardening work.
However, if you choose a landscaping gardener, you can expect that to be £170-£280.
Gardening Cost Factors
There are multiple cost factors that can affect the end-rate you pay your gardener.
Often, these include the size of the space, the gardener’s rate, and how much time you need them for.
Size of Garden
The larger your garden, the more time it will take to manage and take care of. Most people who live in urban areas have a 16-20 m2 garden. Most people in rural areas have a 178 m2 garden. Therefore, if you live in a rural area, you’ll likely pay for 2 or more hours of work every time a gardener comes to your home.
However, on average, you’ll pay for an hour of your gardener’s time each time they visit your home. This means that if they spend half an hour mowing the lawn, you might as well ask them to water as well to cover the full time.
And, the time to mow or prune an area also depends on the tools the gardener has. A good push mower will make any lawn easy work, even if you want a striped lawn. Leaf blowers will always be faster than raking. And, collection tools on tractors will always be faster than picking up grass or debris by hand. So, the size of your garden isn’t everything.
Gardeners charge anywhere from £12-£60 per hour for work. In some cases, you’ll find averages of £20-£30. However, the hourly rate or day-rate of your gardener will greatly impact total pricing.
Here, the more qualified the gardener is, the more they’re likely to charge. But, if you want someone to cut the grass and water the hedge, you probably don’t need a highly qualified person.
So, on average, look for a gardener charging £20-£30. If you have specialty plants (or want them) or something that needs a lot of care (like a collection of roses, feel free to look for someone more specific with a horticulture qualification like an RHS cert or membership in NVC, HND, or NPTC.
A lot of work depends on accessibility. For example, if you want to prune trees but they’re stuck between the neighbour’s fence and your home, accessing them to prune could be quite an endeavour. Therefore, you’ll pay more for the full job.
On the other hand, if you want to plant shrubs in an open space with nothing blocking the way, you’ll probably have a pretty easy time doing so.
You should account for accessibility when planning timelines as well. For example, if your gardener has to remove fencing to access your back garden, you’ll have to pay them more for the extra time. That’s also true if they have a harder time accessing corners, trees, fences, gutters, water features, etc.
Difficulty of Work
In most cases, the more labour required for the job, the more your gardener will charge for it. This means you can expect higher rates for something labour intensive like removing a stump versus light work like watering the grass.
If you’re requesting labour intensive work, expect to get a higher rate or a flat rate that reflects the increase in difficulty of the work.
You’ll have to buy materials for many different types of gardening jobs. Many won’t require materials at all. However, some jobs require hundreds of pounds in materials.
- Turfing (£250-£450)
- Building Beds (£20-£60 per m2 in rock and mortar)
- Decking (£26-£60 per m2 in wood)
- Fencing (£26-£80 per m2)
- Woodchips (£7.33-£12 per square metre of coverage)
- Planting (cost of plants)
- Mulching/Fertilising (cost of fertiliser)
Some of these costs are extremely predictable. Others are not. Therefore, you’ll have to look at what you want and why and budget accordingly.
In addition, some gardeners will prefer that you supply the gardening equipment. Others will prefer to use what they have. You’ll have to ask to see what you’re getting in the quote.
Most gardeners will charge a fee to cover travel and to make coming out worth their while. This means that you’ll likely pay more for the first hour of work and it’s always cheaper per hour to pay for a day-rate than a single hour.
This is because it’s not feasible for most people to travel to your home for £20, even if that’s their hourly fee.
This means you can reduce costs by:
- Hiring the gardener for more jobs at once and paying the half-day or day rate
- Making an arrangement with 4-8 neighbours who each need 1-2 hours of work, and splitting the day-rate.
For example, in the latter case, if you want to have your lawn mowed and watered, you’d pay at least an hour’s fee even if mowing the lawn only took half an hour.
If you and eight neighbours want to have the same work done, you pay one person £150 for the day, and split the fee. That can save you considerably, while reducing hassle and travel costs for the gardener, so everyone wins.
Of course, not all neighbourhoods are that social, so you might not have the option.
A good gardener is usually easy to find. However, you can look for the following checklist:
- Is there a charge for preliminary visits
- How long has the gardener been in business?
- What do they charge for each part of work?
- Is there a minimum charge to visit?
- Who owns surplus materials?
- Does the gardener handle rubbish disposal?
- Get Gardening Quotes
- Relevant Qualifications:
- For tree work, look for Lantra Professional Tree Certification, Arboriculture Association, or International Society of Arboriculture membership
- Safe Use of Pesticides (PA1) or PA6 certification
- The Society of Garden Designers membership
- The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) membership
- British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) membership
- Landbased Industry Skills Scheme/Construction Skills Certification Scheme (LISS/CSCS) SmartCard
- Register of Landbased Operations (ROLO)
- The Gardener’s Guild horticultural qualification 1 or 2
- Liability insurance
- Worker’s compensation insurance
Get Gardening Quotes
Gardeners average about £30 per hour or £150 per day across the UK. However, many projects are priced flat-rate to include the cost of materials, rubbish disposal, and tools. If you want to know how much your garden project costs, you’ll need a custom and local quote.
If you’re ready to get started finding the perfect gardener, use the form at the top of the page to request quotes from local gardening professionals.